Spiritual Rants: May 24 “Ish-bo-dead” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23 John 13:31-14:14 Psalm 119:17-32 Proverbs 15:31-32

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Old Testament: 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23

Uzzah had a good heart but nevertheless got killed after the tilt of the cart.

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2 Samuel 4:1-12   Ish-bo-dead

Jonathan was David’s old friend who had died in battle and a son of Saul.  He had a son named Mephibosheth who was only five years-old when he was crippled when his nurse dropped him after hearing of the battle.

The King of Israel after Saul, his son Ish-bosheth, panicked when he heard Abner had been killed.  There was no one like Abner left to protect him.  In fact, two scoundrels who had been in Saul’s command snuck in and murdered him in his bed while he was sleeping.  They apparently did not know that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  They hadn’t heard that one of the enemy had claimed to David that he had killed Saul.  David executed him for it (2 Sam. 1:15).  And they probably also didn’t realize that David pronounced a curse on another man who had killed Saul’s commander, Abner.  So it was no surprise that the two men who killed Ish-bosheth were also executed by David.  He had their hands and feet cut off and hung up beside the bodies by the pool in Hebron.  But David had the head of Ish-bosheth buried in the grave of Abner in Hebron.

2 Samuel 5:1-16   A House And Kids

The people of Israel came to David and crowned him as king over all Israel.  David was only thirty years old when he began his forty year reign, seven years over Judah and thirty-three more over both Israel and Judah.

The King of Tyre, Hiram, sent David a gift of cedar wood and builders to build a house for him.  David eventually filled the house with even more concubines, wives and children including Solomon.

2 Samuel 5:17-25  David 2 – Philistines 0

When the Philistines heard David had become king they went up to attack him.  David asked Yahweh if he should respond and was told to go ahead and that he’d enjoy victory.  So he did and then he did.  The Phillies left their idols behind so the Israelites collected them.

The Philistines rallied and formed to strike but David repulsed them once again.

2 Samuel 6:1-11   Uzzah, Oops

David gathered his 30K troops up to Baale-judah along with the ark.  Unfortunately, he didn’t check out the book of the law that said that the ark could only be transported on rods through the rings in the ark.  Instead, they transported it the way the Philistines would have done it, on a cart.  They took it up a hill with David celebrating behind it with all kinds of noisy instruments.

Unfortunately, the oxen drawing the cart almost tipped over so a man named Uzzah reached out to grab the ark before it hit the ground.  The law forbid anyone to touch the ark other than a priest so Yahweh struck Uzzah dead (cf. Exod. 25:14; Num. 4:15, 20).  David was afraid to do anything after that so had the ark dropped off at Obed-edom, the Gittite’s place for three months.

2 Samuel 6:12-23   Michal The Moaner

When David heard that Obed-edom was being blessed for storing the ark, he figured it was safe to try to continue its transport into Jerusalem.  David was dancing behind the ark like a madman and only had a linen ephod on.  David finished moving the ark into a specially prepared tent and he offered  burnt and peace offerings to Yahweh in thanks.  Then he gave away date and raisin cakes to everyone who was there.

Michal, one of his wives, the daughter of Saul, saw him and was really torqued.  In fact, she hated David for being so immodest in front of all the young women of Israel.  David retorted that he wasn’t trying to entice any of the women but was just dancing before the Lord because he had been chosen to the lead the country.   Michal was barren her entire life.

New Testament: John 13:31-14:14

Jesus was the Life, the Truth and The Way but in spite of that most people go astray.

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John 13:31-14:14  Eating Crow

Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment (v. 34) that they should love each other.  It would be a witness to the world (v. 35).  John would later say in his epistle if anyone hated his brother, he wasn’t a Christian (1 John 2:9) but true Christians show love for their brothers and live in the light (1 John 2:10).

Jesus told Peter he couldn’t follow where He was going at that point but he would follow him later.  Peter promised to lay down his life for Jesus but Jesus told him he would cave before the rooster crowed three times that night.   Isn’t it reassuring to know that we are following Jesus to Heaven?  Nothing can keep us from eternal life once we have trusted Him (cf. John 5:24; 1 John 5:13).  If anyone needed that word, it was Peter at that point.  But anyone who tries to minister for Christ will be discouraged by Satan and it is good to have the assurance that nothing can thwart our upward climb.

John 14:1-6   No way!  Way!

Jesus knew all that was going to transpire.  He told His disciples to stay calm and to continue to believe (literal Greek) in Him.  He was going to come and get them and that they knew the way to where He was going.  Thomas, later of doubting fame, asked Jesus how they’d know the way.  Jesus said He was the way.  He was also the truth and life.  He said no one could get to the Father in Heaven without going through Him.

John 14:7-14  The Key To Answered Prayer

Jesus told the disciples that if anyone knows Him, they automatically know the Father.

Philip said Jesus should show them the Father.  Jesus said, “Seriously?  How long have you been with me?  I’m not talking out of myself, everything I speak comes from the Father.  You should have picked this up from my miracles.”

Jesus told the disciples that they would do even greater miracles than He had done (v. 12).  He told them that if they asked for anything to glorify the Father and for the Son’s glory, He would make it happen (v. 14).

Psalm 119:17-32      A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous

The psalmist felt as low as the dust, it was to the Word that he knew he must trust.

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Psalm 119:17-32    Not Getting Down With The Word

Psalm 119 is a wisdom psalm about the glories of Scripture.  It is a teaching poem that has 22 stanzas corresponding to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Yesterday we saw the first two stanzas correlating to “A,” and “B.”  Today Gimel which is like a “G” in English or “gh.”  Daleth is like a “D” in English.

In Hebrew each verse in the stanza begins with the same letter.  The purpose was to make it the psalm easier to memorize.

The Gimel section encourages knowledge of the Word for protection from enemies (v. 23).  We need to ask God before we study to give us the Holy Spirit to “open our eyes” (v. 18). People can get a lot of information out of the Word, but it takes the Holy Spirit to help us understand it and apply it (see Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit).

You don’t always need to call a friend when you’re in trouble.  You can use the Word as your “counselor” (v. 24, cf. James 1:5).

The Daleth section tells us that a lot of depression can be cleared up by trusting God and reading His Word.  The psalmist was so low that his soul “cleaved to the dust” (vv. 25, 28)!  He asked God to teach him what to do (vv. 26-27).  He meditated on the Word, he didn’t just study it and learn it (v. 27).

The psalmist wanted to do what God wanted him to do (vv. 29-32).

Are you feeling down today?  Are you doing everything God wants you to do?  Are you asking God the Holy Spirit for guidance according to His Word?

You could end up being a “fat-heart” instead of  a “fathead” (v. 32).

Proverbs 15:31-32   Re-Proof Of Wisdom

A man will be successful if they listen to reproof, if not they will end up in life as a goof.

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Have you heard the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?  That is insane.  Verse 31 says as much.  If you don’t listen to the counsel of others and humble yourself to learn, you are insane (cf. Ps. 119:24 above; 2 Tim. 3:16; Prov. 11:14; 24:6).  

If you do listen to others who are smarter than you are, you will be a wise guy (v. 31b).

If you hate yourself, you will not listen to correction (v. 32a).  You will grow wise if you do (v. 32b).

Choose Life: Scripture:   John 14:6    NASB    “No Other To Choose”

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'”      John 14:6

Today’s reading is a veritable cornucopia of passages begging to be singled out for devotional commentary.

There is the story of Mephibosheth whose name sounds likes a Ukrainian casserole but actually represents all of us in Christ.  He is lame and without David’s help he will perish (cf. 2 Sam. 4:4).  There’s the story of Uzzah trying to stay the ark and keep it from falling off a cart but being offed by God for his efforts (cf. 2 Sam. 6:6).  Then David dancing near-naked in a parade in God’s honor but being despised by his wife, Michal, for it.

In the New Testament, I could have written about the verses that were printed on our wedding napkins, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).  Or I could’ve chosen one of the greatest promises in the Bible, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14).

But, instead, there is no way around choosing John 14:6.  There just is no other choice.  And that is the point of the verse.  There is no other choice.

There is only way to get to Heaven.  No one else claimed to be God and then proved it by predicting His own death and then rising from the dead again.  It’s an historical fact.  You believe there was a George Washington?  You believe there was an Attila the Hun?  Caesar?  But you don’t believe in Jesus Christ?  Why?  You believe Caesar was stuck in the back and George Washington crossed the Delaware?  But you don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead?  Why not?

I can tell you.  Because you know that if you believe in Christ that your life will change.  You know it.  And it’s true.  If you believe in Him, your life will change and so will your eternity.  You will end up going to Heaven.

And He is the Only Way.  Have you trusted Him?

If you have, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Life is about choices.  David made a good choice in honoring Mephibosheth.  Uzzah made a fatal choice in choosing to disobey God’s law (see today blog, (cf. Exod. 25:14; Num. 4:15, 20).  Michal made a bad decision to undermine her husband (and her parents made a bad decision to name a girl Michal!).

If you choose to love your fellow Christians, you are making a great decision (cf. John 13:34-35).  If you trust God for His promises in prayer (cf. John 14:12-14), you are making stupendous decisions.

You cannot top making the best decision of your life by trusting Christ (John 14: 6; Eph. 2 8-9; John 1:12).  Have you trusted Christ?  Thank Him for your eternal life He has given you and then take some time and worship Him.

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:  Uzza, Oopsa

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